Fake medicines expose
Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR/PARLAKHEMUNDI, Aug 1: The recent disclosure in the media about the presence of fake medicines and the illegal sex determination and termination racket in different parts of the state, though sensational, was not surprising. The health and drugs departments are aware of the goings on but have been quiet. While the health minister has on record blamed his departments for the mess, his silence in taking sufficient action against the culprits has put him in a spot.
The sale of fake or spurious medicines detected initially at Bolangir and then found prevalent in every district, the arrest of a few people, including a drug inspector, have thrown light on the flourishing illegal trade that apparently had the blessings of unscrupulous health department staff. The drugs inspector concerned, who was later suspended during his four-year tenure, was in the know about the illegal manufacturing that was going on using raw materials procured from Indore, Vadodara, Mumbai and New Delhi, police said.
Verification of his past inspection records of various chemist’s shops will show that he had come across such products. Investigators revealed that mostly doctors are at the root of the fake drug nexus.
In the past, while products were promoted vide samples, nowadays gifts play no small part. It is alleged that in lieu of a trip abroad or such expensive presents as cars, some doctors prescribe certain products without ensuring the quality or standard of the drug. Sometimes, they insist on a particular brand of drug and direct patients to chosen pathology or diagnostic centres, largely due to the “commission” involved. Another factor that breeds fake drugs is the presence of quacks in the villages.
The illegal factory at Kantabanji had engaged more than 40 workers and was running a huge unit that could not have gone unnoticed by the local authorities, health officials and local political leaders. Crime Branch sources say it was flourishing in active connivance with the drug inspector and other authorities concerned. An example of this is the Mega Health Camp Fund at Paralakhemundi last year. Medicines were purchased for the three-day camp where doctors were invited No questions were asked on procurement methods.